Getting stuck in the mud while you dart on your feet can be quite annoying. You’ll need the best shoes for a mud run to avoid this. They’re designed in such a way that you can maintain your pace while minimizing the risk of slipping or getting stuck.
The best shoes for mud running usually come with deep and rubbery lugs. And as of this writing, there are hundreds of models available in the market. We’ve collected some of them and run intensive tests to determine their performance. As a result, you’ve got our top 13 picks below.
For a detailed look at how you can choose your own best shoes for running in mud, check out our last section for some valuable tips. But for now, let’s start with the reviews.
Table of contents
- Salomon S-Lab Cross
- Topo Athletic MTN Racer
- La Sportiva Lycan GTX
- Salomon Wildcross
- Inov-8 Mudclaw G 260
- Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX
- Saucony Peregrine 11 ST
- Inov-8 X-Talon
- Walsh PB Elite
- La Sportiva Mutant
- Adidas Terrex
- On Cloudventure
- Brooks Ghost 13
- How to Choose The Best Shoes for a Mud Run
- Are Water Shoes Good for a Mud Run?
- How Do You Clean Up After a Mud Run?
- How Do You Train for a Mud Run?
Salomon S-Lab Cross
The Salomon S-Lab Cross is an ultralight trail running shoe. While it doesn’t offer as much cushion as some of the other alternatives, this shoe does a great job of protecting your feet from the elements. We tried to do a few short sessions with this footwear, and the result was amazing. We didn’t feel any prickling sensation under our feet.
The traction is good too. The S-Lab Cross can provide a tight grip on muddy and wet surfaces. Meanwhile, the upper is designed to hold your feet in place. It almost made the shoe feel like a glove. You won’t have any fitting problems with this running gear. To conclude, the S-Lab Cross is a lightweight and responsive trail foot. If you’re in the market for the best shoes for a mud run, this is it.
- Rubber sole
- Innovative lug geometry
- Matrix upper
- It’s a little cramped
Topo Athletic MTN Racer
The Topo Athletic MTN Racer isn’t your regular trail running shoe. It’s bright and easy to approach. That’s why we didn’t hesitate to include this footwear on our list of best shoes for mud running. Our main star here is the midsole. It’s able to strike an outstanding balance between rigidity and softness. You’ll get increased stability as you make your way through the hills.
As you’d expect from trail running gear, these shoes are massive. But surprisingly, it doesn’t look ridiculous on our feet! And don’t forget about the protection. MTN Racer has everything you need to shield your feet from the elements. The toe bumper will prevent bruising, while the cushioned midsole allows you to maintain a good pace on the bumpy ground. In short, this is a trail running shoe with good performance and great aesthetics. Check this one out if you can.
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- Made in the USA
- Lace-up closure
- Roomy toe box
- Grippy outsole
- You might want to do size up
La Sportiva Lycan GTX
If protection is your main concern, you need to consider getting the La Sportiva Lycan GTX. We’ve tried putting a few miles on this beast, and boy, what a great experience! Our feet have never felt so protected. We’re able to bulldoze all the rocky ground as if they were nothing!
As for comfort, these trail running shoes are excellent. It’s both padded and stable. The same goes with the traction. We managed to dart through the snowy and muddy terrain without any major difficulties. Add that to its waterproof capabilities, and you get yourself the best shoes for running in mud!
- Rubber sole
- The fitting is a little odd
Salomon Wildcross will make a great addition to your trail running gear collection. These shoes shine on not only muddy surfaces but also some other demanding terrain. Running while wearing these shoes feels like a breeze. We manage to slide across the woods and hills like a hot knife through butter.
And wait until you see the midsole. It is something special. This part gives you great stability and cushion. During our sessions, we didn’t feel any discomfort or imbalance. Weighing in at 10.2 oz, the Wildcross is one of the lightest trail running shoes around. It’s snug but won’t hug your legs super tight. If you’re looking for new gear for mid-distance running, these best shoes for mud runs are recommended.
- Extra grip
- Dream Tex wings
- Not recommended for pavement
Inov-8 Mudclaw G 260
The Inov-8 Mudclaw G 260 is touted as the ultimate trail running shoe. Countless articles are saying that this gear offers unmatched traction. After spending a few hours with these shoes, we can confidently say that these statements aren’t just any kind of marketing bullshit. Compared to the other gear on this list, the Mudclaw is the stickiest. These shoes shine on muddy surfaces, as there wasn’t a single moment where we felt we lost control of our pace.
These trail running shoes also provide a solid grip. It’s as if the footwear is glued to your feet! Meanwhile, the upper is super flexible. At first glance, it looks like a tough piece. But once you get some swelling in your leg, it will take shape. In short, the Mudclaw G 260 is solid running footwear. It’s referred to by many as the best shoe for a mud run and deserves it.
- Graphene outsole
- Extra propulsion
- Durable upper
- The fit is narrow
Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX
When it comes to the best shoes for mud running, the Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX should be your go-to option. Most runners we know say that this footwear works great in wet environments. It has a waterproof coating that helps keep your feet dry all day long. Make your stride with confidence, as these shoes also come with a supportive midsole to provide a significant boost in traction.
Some of you may be wondering, with all the great things it provides, these shoes must be heavy, right? Well, quite the opposite. The Speedcross 5 GTX lets you fly on your favorite trails! While it weighs 12oz, this shoe won’t drag your feet down during those running sessions.
- Great fit
- Excellent traction
- Supportive midsole
- There are some issues with color inaccuracies
Saucony Peregrine 11 ST
Traction is one of the most crucial things to consider when choosing the best shoes for running in mud. This is why the Saucony Peregrine 11 ST has become so popular among the runner community. When it comes to traction, these trail running shoes are unrivaled. It can provide excellent grip on various demanding terrains, including mud, sand, and deep snow. It was as if the shoe had invisible claws. The grip is excellent; we can’t even remember the last time we felt like we were going to slip in this running gear.
Everything feels just right with these shoes. We didn’t find any problem putting it on or taking it off. We also appreciate that Saucony provides extra room for toe splay and leg swelling. If that wasn’t enough, these shoes also have great aesthetics. Compared to other products on this list, it looks sporty and modern.
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- Made in the USA
- Rubber sole
- PWRRUN cushioning
- The laces are a little weird
If you consider yourself a speedster, the Inov-8 X-Talon G235 is the shoe you’ve been looking for. It has an aggressive sole with 8mm deep lugs to provide excellent grip on muddy surfaces, even when you’re at your top speed. Meanwhile, its narrow fit helps lock your feet in position. Run with confidence, as these shoes won’t compromise your stride.
Thanks to the graphene-enhanced rubber, the tread will last longer than most mud running shoes out there. Unfortunately, the Inov-8 X-Talon G235 doesn’t offer much cushioning. This can be a massive deal-breaker if you happen to have sensitive feet. However, you’ll find a rock plate in the midsole. That should help you deal with tougher surfaces. If you are a speed demon, then these are the best shoes for a mud run that you’re looking for.
- Fantastic grip
- It offers less cushioning
Walsh PB Elite
Walsh PB Elite has what you would call a winning formula. This is probably one of the main reasons the brand hasn’t made any major changes to the design for over 15 years! It has the same pyramid studs you know and loves. They help you get an above-average grip, even on the muddiest of surfaces. Meanwhile, the overall ride height is low, allowing you to have better stability.
We found that the sole on these best shoes for mud running is a little stiff, which may take some getting used to. As for the main material, Walsh uses something that’s both lightweight and dries quickly. We would also like to mention that the brand did make some adjustments to its production policies to suit modern industrial ethics. This means no animals are involved, and only vegan designs are allowed. While the PB Elite isn’t the most fashionable footwear around, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best shoes for mud running that money can buy.
- Perfect for running
- Cuneiform Wrap
- Lacing system
- Ultra lightweight
- It doesn’t get many reviews
La Sportiva Mutant
The La Sportiva Mutant is a bit on the weirder side when it comes to design. It has a large loop over the heel cup and their iconic integrated SpyralTongue gaiter. Nevertheless, this oddity is worth the benefits. Thanks to this quirky system, the shoe is ultra-flexible. You can take it off or put it on easily. Meanwhile, the gaiter holds your leg tight. It gives you a reassuring feeling as you make your way through the mud.
As you’d expect from the best shoes for running in mud, the La Sportiva Mutant has a breathable upper. It’s not waterproof but allows for quick drying. However, the overall construction is a bit heavier than similar shoes. And if you love to run fast, you might be a little disappointed to learn that these shoes have a 10mm heel-to-forefoot drop. But on the brighter side, the Mutant is comfortable and works great on various terrains.
- Rubber sole
- Well cushioned
- Fights friction
- Sizes run small
The Adidas Terrex is made for soft and muddy surfaces. Maintain your pace, as these shoes come with low drop, are lightweight, and have an aggressive outsole. Don’t let the rain stop your running, as there are quick-dry lightweight uppers. However, you might want to consider resting during heavy rain or in an ultra wet environment, as those uppers allow water to enter easily.
Compared to the best shoes for a mud run, the Terrex feels a little more uncomfortable. We don’t know the exact reason, but it may have something to do with the mesh material offering only minimal padding. And since these shoes are designed for racing, you won’t find many features to tackle tougher surfaces.
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- Synthetic sole
- Lace-up closure
- Perforated mesh
- Reflective print
- The mesh upper allows water to enter easily
One thing that caught our attention about On Cloudventure was the sole design. There’s a Y-shaped groove that extends to the center of the sole. Meanwhile, there are holes on both sides of the rear lugs. This set of features allows you to have a good grip and cushion when running downhills. However, the traction wasn’t as great on the uphill tracks.
Apart from that, you need to be extra careful when dealing with wet mud. Some reviewers on the Amazon say that the hollow lugs tend to get clogged or filled with rock. Thankfully, On Cloudventure makes up for it with a sturdy toe bumper and cushioned heel. Both give you a comfortable fit, especially around the ankles. If you’re looking for the best shoes for mud running and put comfort above all else, you can’t go wrong with this one.
- Rubber sole
- Upper material
- Neutral support
- We’re still working on that
Brooks Ghost 13
Brook Ghost 13 is great for running as well as casual daily use. One of our colleagues said that he has been wearing these shoes actively for several months. If you’re looking to stay active during this pandemic, this pair of footwear would be great to have. Whether it’s a concrete surface or dirt, the Ghost 13 will conquer them all.
For some extra comfort, there’s extra cushioning in the heel. Meanwhile, the supportive mesh makes the Brook Ghost 13 a fantastic versatile option. You can take this thing on trails or roads, and it will perform exactly as you expect. If you don’t mind spending 129 USD, these are the best shoes for running in mud for you.
- Synthetic mesh
- Rubber sole
- The toe box could be bigger
How to Choose The Best Shoes for a Mud Run
As we said initially, the best shoes for a mud run need to have some special features. It doesn’t have to exactly come with all of them, but the more, the better. If you’re familiar with trail running, you’ll understand that the best shoes for mud running need to provide you with both good traction and grip. That being said, here are three important factors to consider when you decide to look for the best shoes for running in mud.
When looking for the best shoes for a mud run, go with one that has a rubber sole. It provides a better grip than other materials. Each brand usually has a different name for this feature, but they’re sticky rubber soles. For example, Salomon has Contagroup, while Asics comes with AsicsGrip.
Lugs will determine how good the traction of your shoe is. When we talk about the best shoes for mud running, you need to see if the product comes with multi-directional lugs. These lugs usually come with a depth of between 6 to 8 millimeters. They’re positioned in opposite directions, so you’ll get better traction when facing uphill or downhill sections.
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Getting some mud stuck to your shoe is the last thing you want when you’re trail running. It will make you lose some control of your pace. That’s why it’s essential to get the best shoes for running in mud with a snug fit. The tighter it is, the better you can control it. Also, make sure that the sock liner isn’t made of slick material. To check this, you can try wearing the shoes without running socks.
Are Water Shoes Good for a Mud Run?
This will depend on what kind of water shoes you have. Some footwear comes with a waterproof coating to keep moisture out. However, they’re not ideal for mud running. That’s because once the water gets into your shoes, there’s no way for them to dry quickly.
How Do You Clean Up After a Mud Run?
First of all, you’ll want to take off all your clothes and shoes. Put them in a separate bag. Next, take a shower and change into clean clothes. Fix your hair if needed, and you’re done.
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How Do You Train for a Mud Run?
Before you do anything, you’ll want to start with observation first. See how other runners deal with obstacles. Next, you need to practice running farther than the race distance. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water and choose your clothes wisely.